Author Topic: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...  (Read 9910 times)

killarney47

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no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« on: December 28, 2009, 06:57:27 AM »
 :( I am brewing a wheat beer that I have brewed 5-6 times previously. the fermentation is usually very vigorous, so the yeast may have been bad. It was a liquid California ale yeast. My guess is to add more yeast but the only brewing store around here is closed until Wed. Any ideas? Is Wed too late to add yeast? any particular kind?

Offline Rep

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 07:40:25 AM »
:( I am brewing a wheat beer that I have brewed 5-6 times previously. the fermentation is usually very vigorous, so the yeast may have been bad. It was a liquid California ale yeast. My guess is to add more yeast but the only brewing store around here is closed until Wed. Any ideas? Is Wed too late to add yeast? any particular kind?

Are you brewing in a bucket?  Sometimes a bucket, if not sealed tightly will leak the CO 2 out and the lock will not be active.

I think Wednesday may very well be too late to repitch.  I would not dump it too early but do keep an eye and nose to it.

It is never a bad idea to keep a couple packets of dry yeast in your refrigerator for emergencies.  Pick up some Nottingham or Safale 04 & 05 and you should be covered for most emergencies.

killarney47

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2009, 08:46:11 AM »
thanks for the reply. I am brewing in a carboy. I will try to pitch new yeast Wed if the beer smells okay, no point in throwing it out now...great advice about the dry yeast, though. I will absolutely do that. this has not ever happened to me in 5 years of brewing so the possibility hasn't occurred to me before.

Offline CR

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 02:24:57 PM »
I've had slow slow starts.   Last time it was so slow that I just gave in and got another yeast pakage.

My most recent ferment is five weeks and still slowly bubbling. I've racked it off the yeast cake  already and dry hopped only to have it start up again.  I may have out gassed all the goodness of my dry hop with that second very active start up.

The fault is mine tho'. I'm using a yeast that supposedly wants to ferment at 70-Deg F and I just can't bring myself to get it higher than 62 for fear of  Fusil alcohols and all that.

That's one thing the yeast companies don't tell you much about.  They seem to ignore fusil production.

 






dhaenerbrewer

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 03:33:37 PM »
I'm using a yeast that supposedly wants to ferment at 70-Deg F and I just can't bring myself to get it higher than 62 for fear of  Fusil alcohols and all that.

That's one thing the yeast companies don't tell you much about.  They seem to ignore fusil production.

I wouldn't worry much about fusel alcohol production until you get into the 80F + range. It takes a pretty vigorous and hot fermentation to create any noticeable amount of fusel alcohols.

Darin

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2010, 07:39:48 AM »
Take a gravity reading and find out where it is. Air lock activity is not a gauge of fermentation. If you could post the recipe and your processes, we may be able to help more.

Cheers
Preston
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Offline CR

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 09:04:02 AM »
Air lock activity is not a gauge of fermentation


I don't know how to respond to that.
I've always use the bubbles of CO2 as a gauge.  I like to shine  the beer too.  I put a light on the far side of the Glass carboy and watch the bubbles going up and the yeast sediment falling down. 
If the Air lock is not a guage of ferment activity then what is happening if it's bubbling? Is that not fermentation in full tilt?

When I racked it off and dry hopped it  I observed the brew becoming very active with a full head of sudsy krausen and aggressive energetic activity in the fluid volume. I know I warmed  the brew by maybe 8 or 10 degrees in this process which might speak to the  sudden activity.

It's mostly Marris Otter with some wheat and oats,  lots of different hops, Mashed for a couple hours at 151F, mashout at 175,  batch sparged,  and an 80 minute boil.  Yeast is   Wyeast London Ale  #1028

I'm thinking of warming the brew to about 70 Degrees in a water bath to let it finish what it's doing.

As for taking a reading:
I'm a big  fan of not opening a carboy fermenter  any more than I have to (including for Hydrometer readings) on the thesis that there are bugs in the air and I might let one in.
This  "Exposure to the Wild Air" issue is a major driving force for my lust after a Conical. With a Conical I can use a HEPA filter to screen the air  entering the fermenter during any extractions.  With Glass carboys I don't have that luxury.
Of course it's not exactly small potatoes to eliminate hauling 5-gallon  glass carboys around either.  Every time I wonder if this'll that time when I have a hell of a mess to clean up.


 


Offline MaltLicker

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 09:17:59 AM »
Air lock activity is not a gauge of fermentation


I don't know how to respond to that.

Uselessii has been on vacation.  ;)  I took him to mean 'the lack of airlock activity is not proof that fermentation did not occur.'  Because buckets can leak gas.  A local friend here also just had that happen.

I would also submit that really slow bubbling (insert a guideline here) is not proof that the ferm has fully completed and all the normal by-products have been resolved by the yeast.  IMO, an airlock is merely a device to let excess CO2 out of the fermenter, and not necessarily a timer by which we know when to open the oven.  Fermentation is a complex, multi-stage process, and each one is unique. 


Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 03:36:58 PM »
+1 ML (:

My apologies, Yes bubbles in the airlock mean activity. But as ML stated, Lack there in does not necessarily mean you did not get any fermentation. You should always use the Hydrometer to proof your fermentation.

Cheers
Preston
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Offline CR

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Re: no fermentation visible at 36 hours...
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 06:59:08 PM »
+1 ML (:

My apologies, Yes bubbles in the airlock mean activity. But as ML stated, Lack there in does not necessarily mean you did not get any fermentation. You should always use the Hydrometer to proof your fermentation.

Cheers
Preston

Ahh yes I see now.

Well It's been fermenting. I don't need a hydrometer to see the proof of that.  I've racked  off the yeast cake it once already to a second glass carboy and I have got yet another inch  and a half of  yeast  cake on the bottom.
 I warmed the carboy up to the mid 70's in a water bath and it's been percolating along a quite clip.  the yeasts literally exploded with energy cause large chunks of cake to float up to the top.

I'll keep that up for a spell till the activity dies off  and - - - - rack it off yet again to a clean carboy and  dry hop - again.

I am still in design stages  of my  cold room.  I'm wondering about maybe adding a warm zone to it or just give in and get a flexible fermenter warming jacket.   I was off in the notion that a Peltier effect heating and cooling    device might be the way to  go using it to drive a water bath.  The electronics got the better of me.


 

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